Innovations From JDRF’s Diabetes Conference

That might sound like a distant diabetes conference area to a, but I was raised at that Metro Detroit area before going to Indiana a decade ago, so that’s the JDRF chapter that I grew up knowing and loving. Their Today and Tomorrow conference was going on for seven decades now, and it’s said to be the greatest and longest-running of its kind by any of the JDRF’s regional chapters across the country.

Around 1,300 people turned out this season, and I was excited to see the all-star lineup that included celebrity PWDs such as Olympic skier Kris Freeman, former Miss America 1999 (along with newly-minted doctor!) Nicole Johnson, and pro cyclist Joe Eldridge. Together with well-known DOC peeps such as Kerri Sparling, who led a session on social networking diabetes and connections.

A big theme for this season was diabetes superheroes, fueled by the lineup of celeb PWD speakers, and it was enjoyable to see many of the little kids running around with bright green capes sponsored by Dexcom. Their reps even wore their very own superhero tops.

Like a number of these conventions, it’s tough to select in which to become, with so many great sessions happening at the exact same time. There were 12 sessions tap between lunch and the afternoon keynotes alone! Check out the entire schedule here, for all those interested.

I did my best to take it all in and fill my reporter’s laptop, so without further ado, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

(you could also have a look at the #JDRFConf hashtag on Twitter to review some of those live-tweeting that went on.)

From Our Notebook

Smart Insulin: One of the very newsy pieces we discovered more about this weekend has been last week’s news that Merck was finally moving ahead on intelligent insulin! Yes, eventually, about four decades following the Pharma giant obtained SmartCells in late 2010, that was working on this glucose-responsive insulin. Throughout a very long investor briefing on May 6, a Merck exec demonstrated the organization is ultimately transferring its investigational intelligent insulin (dubbed L-490 in the research so far) ahead into Phase I human trials. At the JDRF conference on Saturday through the research upgrade session, Dr. Michael Wood at this University of Michigan briefed us about this “late-breaking news” that he’d only gotten an email about the evening before.

An exec revealed this slide smart insulin through that briefing:

He did not talk time or offer much more, so we achieved to Merck’s media relations team who told us they plan for overdue 2014 about the human clinical trials to get started. But they also said it’s “premature to comment on any additional details now.” Darn.

Exciting news, however surely we’re still years away from viewing anything materialize in the marketplace from these early trials.

Artificial Pancreas :Dr. Mark DeBoer from the University of Virginia was one of those early keynote speakers,   speaking very generally about UVA’s research on the Artificial Pancreas system working with the Dexcom G4 and Tandem t:slim insulin pump. Truly, it was an overview on both AP kinds — “controller to range,” in which calculations steer toward a preset glucose array, and “zone model predictive controller” that employs a more personalized approach based on individual information. He also discussed how present CGM sensor accuracy is the biggest challenge to address brief of regulatory issues. Talking of Artificial Pancreas research, it was interesting to hear a Friday night reception demonstration by Dexcom that included a slide showing off 22 of those AP consortium centres globally. And Dexcom is your CGM used in 19 of these – wow, that’s impressive!

Endo of the Ages: Remember Dr. Fred Whitehouse, the “amazing endo of the ages” in Detroit who actually trained under the Dr. Eliot Joslin and ends up was the grownup endo for Elizabeth Hughes Gossett, the very first man to ever get insulin? We interviewed Dr. Whitehouse a few decades ago and now, even at 88, he is still practicing a few days per week at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit (and remains my mom’s endo!) . However, I saw him at the JDRF Conference and he explained the plan would be to retire July 31. This guy is amazing and deserves a standing ovation from anyone and everyone in this D-Community, IMHO. Thanks for everything you have done and continue doing for us, Dr. Whitehouse!

D-Kids & A1C: The other morning keynote has been Dr. Lori Laffel (say it : La-Fell) who is mind of the Joslin Clinic’s pediatric part in Boston, MA, and has quadrupled this branch’s size and influence during her tenure. She’s also being honored at the Joslin Gala this weekend, combined with another Joslin researcher and friend of ours, Dr. Howard Wolpert. Laffel’s keynote was pretty standard fare on vitamin D but you could notice it was very informative for people attending — many hands shot up when she asked who was diagnosed over the last six months, so many families seemed like they had been clinging to any advice which may help them at this important stage of newly-diagnosed D.

My heart ached a range of times, especially when Laffel mentioned the current JDRF SEARCH study findings concerning how type 1 rose in youth rose 23% between 2001-2009, hitting 1 at 500 kids in the U.S.. She did point out the interesting tidbit that only one additional blood glucose check each day could drop an A1C by a half percentage point — so that’s inspiration for ya! She told us to “stay tuned” for new A1C guidelines that are going to be published soon at the upcoming American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions scheduled for June in San Francisco.

Social Media and also the DOC: Additionally, it was very reassuring to hear Dr. Laffel encourage social networking use as part of this larger prescription for diabetes control and connectivity, since that peer support is so crucial. Bravo, Doc, we’ve been waiting for more in the medical community to say this for quite a while, and hopefully your backing of the idea will carry some weight together with your coworkers!

Our pal and fellow DOCer Kerri Sparling teaming up with local pediatrician and health-tech enthusiast Joyce Lee to give a social networking demonstration, focusing on the parenting side. They comprised a great Twitter plus D-blog primer along with a handful of shout-outs that comprised #DSMA. It was refreshing how Kerri allow the viewers dictate the conversation, and a few of the topics that arose was the danger and worries about adults with diabetes having the ability to conceive or trying to have children. That is a big concern for me at the moment, and it was an emotional conversation that touched the danger of diabetes being 4 percent for those kids of T1 mothers and 10% for mothers. Of course, as Kerri stated: It is only one of many aspects in planning for parenthood.

Celebrity PWDs: naturally, watching Kris Freeman a few months following his time at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was trendy. He gave a lunchtime talk with the subject “No Boundaries,” sharing his story about skiing with D, hitting the Olympics, and visiting D-camps every summer. After dinner, Nicole Johnson gave a very inspirational speech along exactly the very same lines — of being told she would not have the ability to achieve her fantasies, but demonstrating these naysayers wrong. It was amazing to see her young daughter there beside her on stage, holding up Nicole’s Miss America 99 crown as evidence that we PWDs could accomplish anything.

A note that hit home for me was when Nicole spoke about her fantasy early of becoming a journalist but being told she could not, since she would not have the ability to take care of the traveling and rigors of the occupation. I had the very same fears growing up, worrying that type 1 could stop me from having the ability to work at a paper and be outside in the field covering the news. However, like so many people, I pushed ahead anyway!

Kris and Nicole both gave a great interview that afternoon on a local news channel about the conference and what their inspirational messages are about. Worth a watch, if you’ve got 4 minutes to spare:

Overall, I have to say how impressed I am to see this kind of lineup at a regional JDRF Conference. I was curious about just how much of this planning here is done by the local chapter versus JDRF National, and here’s what JDRF’s Southeast Michigan senior outreach coordinator and D-Mom Denise Pentescu told us

We have an incredible planning committee that works on this, indicating speakers and topics.   We always have  very powerful co-chairs, they in turn   reach out and encourage the keynote speakers. I work on the local level to acquire speakers and session chairs for your workshop sessions — and together with my affiliation with AADE, AACE, and DPAC I’m in a position to  utilize their membership base. I understand the majority of the exhibitors personally — so that part is easy! However, it does take a lot of individuals to make this event happen! AND of course Wayne County Community College District, Western Campus is fantastic. The president (Michael Dotson) and his young daughter both have T1D, in order that household was gracious hosts for JDRF! We do have assistance from our JDRF National office, in fact this year I worked together quite a bit.

Nice to see that type of cooperation. And organizers inform me that there’s talk about adding to the schedule next year… that to me is a mixed bag, since it’s great to see more issues covered but in addition, it means small when so many people (even people attending) can not make it to so a number of these sessions. I again implored the organizers to PLEASE consider taking the attempt to videotape those sessions, so we can all see and share them later.

Word is the keynote talks and a few of the year’s sessions will soon be published online soon.

We have pointed out previously that more JDRF chapters seem to be embracing these sort of conferences all across the U.S., and we’ve got a smaller one called Sort One Country starting up here at the Indy region late this month. I’ll be at this one, also, and can not wait to see what’s in store for more PWDs and D-Families who are eventually getting vulnerability to those excellent events.

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Composed by on Jun  16,  2017  

Composed by on Sep  21,  2017  

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